It should have been easy to demonstrate that Matt Hancock has been lying to Parliament.
This Site provided a handy guide for members of the Commons Science and Health committees, who questioned the Death Health Secretary for four and a half hours on Thursday (June 10).
But instead of catching him out over his old lies, committee members managed to let him tell some new ones.
And they don’t even excuse him from the accusation he faces: causing the deaths of more than 40,000 care home residents by failing to provide adequate protection against Covid-19 – and lying about it.
We know he told us on May 15 last year, “Right from the start we’ve tried to throw a protective ring around our care homes. We set out our first advice in February… we’ve made sure care homes have the resources they need”.
Would this be the advice from Public Health England that “There is currently no transmission of Covid-19 in the community. It is therefore very unlikely that anyone receiving care in a care home … will become infected”?
If so, then it is clearly that his “protective ring” claim was false. Clearly, one of the resources necessary to ensure that care homes are protected from Covid-19 is the testing of people going into those homes, to ensure they don’t have it. This testing was not carried out.
Nor were homes provided with equipment to protect care home residents, in case their neighbours returning from hospital might have the virus – or with advice on how to achieve such protection.
We know that government policy was to provide no protection at all.
This policy did not change, even though Covid-19 deaths were registered at care homes from March 2. So the Tories allowed those deaths – and the infections causing them – to go uncontrolled for 10 days (March 12 is when we understand the advice was changed) before taking any action at all.
Covid-19 testing did not begin in those homes until July last year, by which time more than 29,000 people had died there. At least a further 11,000 people died after testing began, bringing the total to more than 40,000.
Hancock told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that [bolding mine] “we brought in the policy of wanting to test everybody who went into a care home as soon as we had those tests available”.
That is not what he told us last May. He lied.
At the Science/Health committee hearing, he said the government had not changed its advice on routinely testing hospital patients before they were discharged into care homes did not change until April – because it was following scientific advice that the virus was unlikely to spread asymptomatically.
That does not make his “protective ring” claim any less of a lie. It doesn’t matter what the scientific advice was – he had claimed the government had been protecting care home residents since February when it hadn’t.
None of his witterings about the scientific advice changes this fact.
Here’s another howler:
Defending the government’s initial advice that all hospital patients did not need to be repeatedly tested before being sent to care homes, he said ministers had “followed the clinical advice” at all times.
Again, this does not excuse him from lying. He said the government had put a “protective ring” around care homes when in fact it had left them completely unprotected.
Why did the MPs grilling (if that’s the word) Hancock not point out that nothing he had said changed the fact that he had lied?
Were they protecting him, for reasons unknown to us? If so, that’s dereliction of duty.
Were they dazzled by the new set of excuses he put up to replace the debunked previous batch?
Or are they simply as stupid as Hancock himself?
He clearly thinks they are, otherwise he would have at least come up with lies that were more convincing.
If any other MP is reading this (I know many of you do), can you please point out that Hancock’s lie is obvious and proven – and that we, the people, want him to face serious and lasting consequences?
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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